• How the prefix “franken-” took on a life of its own. . .

    As Halloween quickly approaches, Frankenstorm is sneaking up on the East Coast. Forecasters are calling the hurricane headed for New York, New Jersey, and as far inland as Ohio, “Frankenstorm” because (like the monster in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus) this storm is stitched together from three different weather systems

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  • Could an animal speak? Not just bark or meow, but actually speak.

    From Dr. Doolittle to Jane Goodall, human-animal communication has occupied our thoughts both in fiction and in reality. Dogs recognize their names when they are called; researchers have successfully taught primates to communicate in sign language; and the famed African gray parrot, Alex, built a vocabulary of over 100 English words out of which he […]

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  • Who put the $ in Ke$ha? Where did the $ come from?

    From the California dance band !!! to MIA spelling out her name in dashes, musical artists seem to love putting symbols in their names. Perhaps none more notable than pop star Ke$ha, who differentiates herself with a single letter substitution. Born Kesha Rose Sebert, the singer/songwriter/rapper simply exchanged the “s” in her first name with […]

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  • How much talking does your body do?

    The phrase “body language” or nonverbal communication often gets tossed around. From public speaking to a first date, our movements and facial expressions say a lot about our feelings and intentions. Now, as we enter into political debate season, politicians’ body language will be under just as much scrutiny as their remarks, and if the […]

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